Anime World Order Show # 132 – Science Fiction Is Obsolete, Long Live Science Dad Fiction

With con season over, Clarissa thought she had it all figured out. Thought she could get a podcast review done with minimal editing and minimal viewing overhead if she and Gerald just watched something that was already on Netflix. But then they chose the 2013 Space Pirate Harlock CG animated film directed by Shinji Aramaki. How prophetic was what Daryl said about it back in Show 125? Find out for yourself. Note: unlike Show 125, this episode will spoil the film more or less in its entirety.

As far as guest appearances, Daryl was a guest on the Greatest Movie EVER! podcast to discuss a film made solely for him at the exclusion of basically everyone else on the planet: Shoot ‘Em Up. A true “Daryl Surat Genre” film indeed.

14 thoughts on “Anime World Order Show # 132 – Science Fiction Is Obsolete, Long Live Science Dad Fiction

  1. I totally love the “Liam Neeson as Captain Harlock” idea.

    But I have to say, Appleseed Ex Machina is probably the best CG anime film when it comes to looking LIKE anime. The rest of it was kinda terrible, but they at least nailed the texturing and materials for the CG models. A lot of the recent CG anime TV shows would look WAY better if they had that kind of texturing.

  2. “These people don’t actually know how to write normal human beings…and so the characterization tends to be flat or weird…” Isn’t that arguably neurotypical privilege, displaying a lack of intersectionality awareness? And can you guess which two words in this post the spellchecker was logophobic towards? Well, I guess it’s three words now.

    Speaking of which, I thought one of the funniest jokes in Blue Blazes was where Honoo tried to exert self-confidence by walking like Harlock, only to have Anno affectlesssly remark that he was doing it wrong because he wasn’t compensating for the video tracking.

  3. Clarissa’s description of the characters got me interested in this movie. There’s something about unashamedly terrible characters that clicks with me. At least they’re fun to talk about.

    Aramaki’s short The Package from Halo Legends is his only CGI anime I’ve seen so far and that was pretty awesome. The guy also designed Prototype’s power armor, which was the single best thing to come out of that collection.

  4. One thing I was curious about is the mental image the three of you each have of “dad fiction.” What I mean is, you’re all old enough to have children yourselves, and I imagine you have friends your age who do. When you say that, are you picturing the difference that might exist between what a parent wants to watch and what their child wants to watch–in other words, could you picture yourselves as parents of anime fans, with different tastes in anime from your children–or when you say “dad” are you not picturing yourselves as parents, but rather thinking of your own parents’ generation? Because anime has never really developed its demographic diversity to the extent the manga industry has, this kind of question really interests me.

  5. Just on that Patreon discussion, there are a couple of podcasts that have multiple members who do have a Patreon account. The Comedy Button (an audio podcast) is a team of 5 guys who provide extra content to their supporters on a monthly basis that is both audio and video. While they didn’t clarify where the money actually goes to and how it is split between them, it didn’t sound like it was a concern for them. Living in the UK and being unable to attend your panels, I’ve always wanted to support you for your 9 years of content so I think Patreon (or something similar) might be a viable method of doing so.

    Also, in regards to the letter on labeling anime/comic books, I thought you dismissed his arguments quite quickly despite him making a couple of interesting points. While I agree that its useful being able to clarify the point of origin using the terms anime/manga, I do think that these terms (in conjunction with fan pandering translations) is a definitely a barrier to entry for potential fans.

    I think that a discussion (even if you don’t agree with it) on whether anime/manga would be more popular outside of Japan if they were simply known as cartoons/comic books would be an interesting topic for the podcast one day. Take care & keep up the good work! [The fake email address you supplied marked this as spam at first. Luckily, I happened to check the spam folder rather than just blindly empty it. –Daryl]

    • I am so thoroughly, completely, utterly sick of having that discussion, as we have done time and again for multiple episodes and across multiple conventions, that I know for certain it is not an interesting conversation. It is dull, tedious, and literally entirely over semantics such that nobody anywhere is backing down for their position. This includes myself, since damn it, I am right.

      The factors keeping established diehard comicbook fans away from manga are not born out of the fact that it’s got a different name and some different associated vocabulary. Were that not the case, the arguments would have evolved over the course of the last roughly 15 years. They have not. That being said: it is true that localizations which retain translatable terminology in Japanese for titles not explicitly set in Japan are a valid barrier to entry, but encountering that is contingent upon someone having begun reading in the first place. Most people who object to “manga” as classification don’t get beyond the cover. (A smaller group objects because their endgame is to get manga readers to read their own work.)

      Whatever. This episode ain’t even about any of that.

      • Fake email? FYI I used my twitter handle (incase this happens again in the future). [A Twitter handle isn’t an email address. You wrote “wayne_emanuel@twitter.example.com” for your email address, which is obviously fake so it got sent to a spam/moderation queue. –Daryl]

      • “Whatever. This episode ain’t even about any of that.”

        And this is why we come here!

        Interesting to see a take on Harlock as a villain this time. Still wouldn’t get me to see the film anyway (hearing of Franco-Belgian comics earlier reminded me of the CGI Tintin film from a few years back, I liked it at least, it’s not like Tintin’s going to murder someone in that film).

    • Dear Wayne,

      In a sense, what you’re discussing has been tried. Manga first started being published in English on a regular basis in 1987, but the main format used for English-language manga in the 1980s and 90s wasn’t the small graphic novels (tankobon) such as you see in bookstores today. Instead, manga were published to look as much like a comic book as possible.

      In other words, they were published as a thin, stapled monthly pamphlet with a color cover (and one or two chapters of manga story inside). The artwork was black-and-white, of course, but in the 1980s b/w comics had become accepted in the North American market (the UK has a longer tradition of b/w comics, I think). Sometimes there were even colorized versions of manga made to look more like a “normal” comic book–AKIRA, for example, was colorized by Epic/Marvel. The original Japanese logos were removed and more American-looking ones were made for the manga. Sometimes Western comics artists did new cover art for the manga. And nearly all manga were published “flopped,” with the art flipped around so you could read it in the same direction as an American comic book.

      In short, for the first 15 years or so of manga in English, tremendous efforts were made to make manga accessible to “regular” comics fans. This also influenced the kind of manga that were released in English–an emphasis on genres like science fiction, action, crime (themes thought to appeal to comics fans) over what today we would call “moe” appeal.

  6. Copyrighted video will definitely get flagged on youtube, so the panels you give in conferences won’t be a good fit. However, something you commonly do on the show is explain concepts relating to anime and manga, and short videos covering these shouldn’t be too difficult to make, if you do them a bit like slideshows. I doubt screenshots would get flagged if they’re presented with commentary.

    Topics you’ve discussed on the show:
    What’s doujinshi and what role does it have in the industry?
    What visual queues are prevalent in anime/manga which are rare or non existent in western media?
    What’s Chibi and when/where is it usually used?
    What visual or narrative trends were started by which directors/mangaka?
    What’s an OVA and why does it have its own category?
    What is a “magical girl show” and how does it differ from other shows with women having magical powers?
    Why are Japanese guys so obsessed with fucking their sister?

    Stuff like that. There’s a youtube channel called “extra credits” which does this type of thing for games.
    Patreon has a system where supporters only pay “per video”, so if there’s a slow month you don’t have to feel guilty for taking people’s money.

    As for splitting the money, obviously that’s something only you can resolve, but a simple approach would be that the creators get the money for each video. If only one of you makes a particular video, only that person gets the money. If two of you make it, then it’s split between the two. That way if only one or two of you want to cover a specific topic, the other person/people can sit that one out. Obviously real life is more complicated, but it’s a starting point.

    I think you guys can get a lot of eyeballs if you do something like this on youtube, you have a lot of fans and plenty of ways to promote your work.

  7. Regarding sci-fi shows, I think the only really “hard sci-fi” show I’ve caught in a while is Psycho-Pass. I really enjoyed the first season and it’s got a great concept that can get you thinking. Second season has dipped noticeably in quality (not the original people doing it) but I highly recommend picking up the season box set if you want something with good ideas, a somewhat adult tone, original character design and a wonderful complete absence of bouncing boobs.

    • I never really understand why people keep recommending PsychoPass, when the entire first season’s plot literally happens because the people who made the Sybil system were and the system itself were too stupid to have contingency plans and equipment for threats they knew existed. The show would’ve been over halfway through if there was simply an emergency override button for the phasers that let you stun people whenever you needed to.

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